Estranged mother-in-law of murdered St. Cloud mom Nicole Montalvo arrested

The mother-in-law of murdered St. Cloud mom Nicole Montalvo has been arrested in connection to her death, deputies announced on Friday.

The remains of Montalvo were found on property of her estranged husband, Christopher Otero-Rivera, 31, and his father Angel Luis Rivera, 63. The men are charged with murder and are currently being held at the Osceola County Jail without bond. 

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Wanda Rivera, 59, has been arrested for tampering with evidence and providng false statements to investigators when questioned, said Sheriff Russ Gibson during a news conference on Friday.


Montalvo was last seen at Rivera’s home on October 21, dropping off her son. 

Her remains were later discovered buried on that property.


Days before she went missing, Montalvo wrote a judge a letter asking for an order of protection to be dropped after Otero-Rivera was accused of violently beating her.

In the letter she said in part, “I also have a lot of trust in my in-laws because no matter what happens, they are always there for me and our son.”

On Friday, Sheriff Gibson confirmed Montalvo was mutilated after her remains were found on her in-law's property.  

"The most gruesome murder scene that I have seen in my 32 years," Gibson said.

He says more arrests are pending. 

"There’s other people out there that play a role and we will be knocking on their door soon," he said.

Deputies had also been searching property on Henry J. Avenue, also owner by the Rivera's.

The sheriff says remains found there still need to be identified by the medical examiner. 

However, he says they most likely belong to Montalvo.

Neighbor Gary Wood said he always felt something was off with the family. 

“I tried to keep my distance because something smelled fishy,” he said.

However, the new arrests come as a surprise to acquaintances, who say Wanda and Angel Rivera were helpful, church-going people. 

“He has a ministry, I believe it met at one of the local schools,” Wood said. “They did charity work and had people stay with them.”

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